Vreni Wipf – A new world view.
The trip to Rwanda changed and enriched my world view. Far from the well-trodden tourist paths, I was able to personally meet and exchange ideas with locals in different circumstances. Carefully introduced to the history of the country by the tour guide, I learned to understand the background and the reappraisal of the 1994 genocide. I joined the COERESO association because it supports smaller and only sustainable projects with targeted help, be it in agriculture or in small businesses. What else did I like? The small travel group, the competent guide, the very pleasant climate, the many active women in Rwanda!
Ursina Bührer – Doing good with tourism.
During these two weeks I could see that you can also do good with tourism. On my previous trips, it was always very difficult for me to get to know the people and their lives. Often it was superficial “visits”, it was the “consumption” of people and country. In my opinion, the point is not to seek confirmation of our clichés, but to be challenged by the other. There are probably very beautiful landscapes everywhere. But it seems exciting to me to see how people, who are all the same, master their concrete challenges. What solutions do they find for problems that arise everywhere in a very similar way? This process of discovery has been very well facilitated by COERESO. On the same level we could experience an exchange with the people in the communities, we could understand each other. I was also impressed to see that those who do not learn from history repeat the same mistakes. It also confirmed for me once again that it is necessary to work together to solve the problems. Personal freedom is important, but not as significant as reflection on the common future and personal assumption of responsibility for the common good. Without responsible individuals, social or political catastrophes can occur at any time.
Arthur Schweizer – A highlight.
As a 70+ year old and a traveler since my majority, I have already been able to travel to some corners of the world. But the trip to Rwanda was the icing on the cake.
The preparations were meticulous and the daily excursions, tours in the city and visits to the countryside went off without a hitch. COERESO makes it possible to get to know the country with its difficult history and especially the inhabitants. The visitor is introduced not TO, but IN the society that is foreign to us. This is only possible thanks to the previous careful contacts of the tour guide with the local population and the trust gained.
We were expertly introduced to the history of Rwanda, which sometimes left us speechless, in several sessions by the tour guide, but also by local contemporary witnesses. The individual travel days were never overloaded and were designed to be “stressless”, i.e. there was always enough rest time or for conversations in small circles.
Whoever wants to experience an African country not only from a safari jeep, but also wants to experience the friendliness, cordiality and warmth of the inhabitants of Rwanda with all their daily challenges “up close”, is very well served with COERESO.
Our small travel group under competent COERESO leadership was able to spend interesting, informative and unforgettable days in Rwanda. For me a highlight of my past Africa trips.
Chantal Mayr – Promotion of sustainable tourism.
In the summer of 2018, I participated in the student exchange. The program was varied and very thoughtfully designed. Direct contact with the local population was made possible and broad discussions were opened and stimulated. Prejudices were broken down and respect and mutual understanding were built. This trip gave me a broader world view. In my opinion, this trip makes a great contribution to the promotion of sustainable tourism. I can recommend it to anyone who wants to develop personally.
Claudia Secchi – As equals, very warmly received.
For a long time I thought about making the trip to Rwanda. Although my life partner was one of the tour guides, I had already heard a lot about this country in the heart of Africa, and I knew that the trip was responsibly prepared, I had some fears to overcome. What would it be like to travel to a country where a genocide was carried out twenty-four years ago, and where a significant part of the population lives in great poverty? According to the itinerary, we would go to visit several local communities. How would they receive us? Wouldn’t we be rich interlopers who could afford to visit the poor and photograph them with their expensive cameras?
None of my fears materialized. The careful structure of the trip, the instructive explanations far back in the history of the country, the explanations of the origin of the hardly imaginable violence and the information about the present situation helped to have concepts in a short time that made the incomprehensible comprehensible. The scientific support was central in order to be able to orientate oneself in the complex events. Thanks to Eric and Irina’s trusting relationship with the communities, we were warmly welcomed as equals right from the start.
Markus Zehnder – A new world view.
The experiences we were given in Rwanda fundamentally corrected my image of Africa. Today I believe that cooperation between rich and poor can work. I am also convinced that such intensive encounters with the country and its inhabitants are only possible thanks to extensive experience and in cooperation with the various communities through Eric and Irina.
Tamara Kühne – Rwanda, a real adventure!
However, I was not always convinced of this beforehand. Many considerations and numerous conversations finally led me to dare the adventure. And it was indeed one! The joy in the faces of the Rwandan children, the openness of the students towards us as individuals, their interest in our origins and our homeland were very impressive. I was able to get to know many dear people and to dive so deeply into their lives as I have never been able to do before in such a contrasting country. The many conversations were an enrichment for me. All my worries were forgotten on the first day in Rwanda. The adventure was completed by the delicious culinary delicacies and the beautiful green hills. Not for nothing is Rwanda called “the land of a thousand hills”!
Rösli Schweizer – Impressive cooperations.
The competent leadership during the whole trip, the excellent accompanying information and the humorous atmosphere were an unforgettable experience for me. I got to know a piece of Africa that makes you think with all its problems and beauties, but also goes to the heart. To witness how projects/communities can be supported and promoted with little means impresses me very much. COERESO has a sensitive feeling for the people in the cooperatives, supports their own ideas and accompanies the projects adapted to the local conditions.
Ruth Nieffer – A trip to Rwanda touches you emotionally.
Kigali, as capital cities go, is bustling, vibrant and colorful. Surrounded by rolling hills, Kitabi lies amid lush green tea plants waiting for busy picking hands. On the edge of Nyungwe National Park, the air is pure and clear; at the blue hour of morning, anything seems possible. I am in Rwanda. Warmly but firmly invited by the people to share in their daily lives and their history. Retreat is not an option. Eating, dancing, remembering, playing and laughing together – unfiltered, unadorned.
Margrit Imthurn – Trustworthy relationships.
I had thought: It’s a two-week trip, you can’t immerse yourself in the country like you can during a stay of several months… Well, I was completely wrong: It was very possible. The mixture of some “tourist destinations” and the community visits away from the big centers and roads I liked extraordinarily well also the shaking through, it belongs nevertheless to this country. I felt at ease, was highly satisfied.
In the preparation of the trip, in dealing with the local people, with us as a travel group, we were very well prepared for each stop: On the one hand, clear rules of conduct, on the other hand, highly exciting info.
Relationships are the core of the trip: Trusting relationships are built and the tour guide masters the feat of taking the local people and the tour group into these relationships.
Christoph Graf – Changed and enriched.
In the short time I have met many warm people, with their hopes, fears and passions. In the process, most of my clichés of “Africa” have been dispelled and all others put into perspective. Irina and Eric, with the help of their local friends and acquaintances, put together an intensive and colorful program for our small group. I benefited greatly from the competent background information and was impressed by their respectful and careful work in Rwanda. It was more than a vacation in an exotic place for me, it has changed and enriched my view of the world in a lasting way.
Helen Ruppert – Murakoze cyane – thank you very much!
The well-organized, multi-faceted trip was very special and worthwhile in many ways. We learned a few words of Kinyarwanda and were introduced to Rwandan cuisine. The hike in Nyungwe National Park introduced us to the fauna and flora of the rainforest. During city tours we got to know the capital Kigali from different sides. We visited different handicraft businesses like a soap factory, a bakery, a fabric dyeing factory or sewing workshops. We learned a lot about the history, economy, politics and future visions of the country. On the one hand in conversations with Rwandans, on the other hand competently supplemented by the experienced tour guide. These in-depth insights helped me to better understand the incomprehensible of the history of this country. Above all, thanks to the personal contacts of the tour guide, we were able not only to see but also to get to know many people in Rwanda. The common, appreciative exchange, these touching personal encounters, will remain unforgettable to me. Murakoze cyane – thank you very much!
What you will find on this trip: warm, well-organized tour guides with great interest in the country and its people, exciting insights into Rwandan everyday life, beautiful nature experiences, confrontation with the genocide and the history of the country, good conversations at eye level and many lasting memories.
What one is spared: Ruminations of kitschy Africa clichés, 08/15 travel program, one-sided presentation of the political situation and historical events, safari in an off-road vehicle, bockwurst and fries.
Jennifer Pitton – Unique adventure.
Africa – a completely new continent for me and then the country Rwanda. After a conversation with Eric, I signed up for this adventure pretty quickly. The closer the trip came, the more I worried. What will the local people be like? How will the group harmonize? And even more questions kept me busy. But after the first few hours in the country, all these thoughts faded away. The many heartfelt encounters, the exciting conversations and the time spent together with the locals and in the group will remain in my memory forever. The breathtaking landscape and the good food as well. It was a unique adventure that cannot be described with words …
Matti Betz – Anytime again.
Rwanda. The land of a thousand hills. You can really experience this on this trip. Likewise, you get to know the city, the country and especially the people with their stories. This under the professional guidance of Eric Dieth and Irina Zehnder. Incredibly exciting and enriching. I would travel again immediately.
Olivia Ziegler – Unique experience.
The trip to Rwanda with COERESO was a very valuable and unique experience for me. Never before have I gotten to know a country and its people so well within a short period of time as on this trip. The program was very diverse and allowed numerous exciting insights into the history, politics and society of Rwanda. Especially the many encounters with the locals were impressive and will remain in my memory for a long time.